western Montana ride locations (towns)- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Good job! Riding this summer in Butte M??. We are!!

    This summer we have the ability to spent it at one of the western Montana towns listed below. Since we ride single track, which of the towns listed do you feel offers us the best opportunity to reside at. Also tell us about any single track trails that are known to be within the towns listed. What do you think????

    Deer Lodge, Butte, Superior, Billings, Missoula, MT

    Thanks for your insights!!
    Last edited by arly; 04-25-2011 at 06:39 PM.
    Arly a tandem Nerd, Who rides them, loves them, so we sell them. superiortandems.com

  2. #2
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    superior is a great town. however the town doesn't have much employment. Small rural town with great mountains around it. Durangos restraunt is one of my favorite i-90 restraunts. if you like backcountry this is the place, just bring money.

  3. #3
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    Can only speak for Missoula, but there is no shortage of singletrack here. I'm not sure much, if any of it is actually within city limits, but it is within 5-10 miles from anywhere in town.

    Blue Mountain Recreation area: miles and miles and miles of network singletrack. Up up up and then down style. Several creek drainages in the area. Short loops, dayrides, epic rides and bike camping on the Lolo NF.

    Rattlesnake National Recreation area: A huge area of single, double, and road-like tracks following several drainages north of town. The area extends for several miles to the north of town and is bordered by a wilderness area and high peaks to the North. Many lovely areas along creeks and many "hidden" lakes further up.

    For quick jaunts and rides without a lot of planning or strain, the Pattee Canyon / Crazy Canyon area has a wealth of singletrack trails, a frisbee golf course, and is just up the road from the University.

    Expect Blue Mountain and Pattee Canyon to be busy at the TH and the easier trails, and remember to respect other trail users. There were lots of people at the Rattlesnake TH almost every time we were there last year, but people spread out quickly... watch out for bears in the Rattlesnake (wear a bear bell), we saw a couple of big brown bears within 150 yards of the parking area last year.

    Also consider your definition of "summer." Missoula gets a lot of rain in June. Last year the rain never really let up until August which was unusual I guess, but we haven't really been here long enough to say.

    I've been thinking about a trip east of here towards Butte myself... maybe just to get some sun (which has been conspicuously absent here)... so I'm curious to see what info gets posted about that area as well.
    For me, riding bikes is not a hobby, it is a way of life.
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  4. #4
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    Tons of quality riding options around Butte. There are hundreds of miles of trail to check out....Cont Divide Trail access 5-10 minutes from town. New trails have been built over the past couple of years (CDT segments, Thompson Park, Archery Range, Blacktail, etc)

    Lots of additional riding options like Pipestone (early season), Lewis & Clark (early season), Thunderbolt Mtn, Fleecer - more ultra classic rides a little further out in the Tobacco Roots (Curly Lake), or further towards W Yellowstone. Helena is less than 1 hour away and has a great trail system too...Bozeman is a little over an hr away with great rides.

    my blog (in signature) has some rides reports under the tab 'ride reports' - rides from last year with local ride info and pix/video mixed in, etc.
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  5. #5
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    Thanks guys, that was just the crud we wanted & hoped to here. With that we'll be looking at those towns (least Butte and Missoula) as a location to be this summer. Also glad to see Montana Mountain Bike Alliance is affiliated with IMBA.
    Arly a tandem Nerd, Who rides them, loves them, so we sell them. superiortandems.com

  6. #6
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    butte has alot of great things around it.

    correct me if i am wrong. butte is a beer drinking, mining town. which doesn't bother me in the least, but it does bother some people. Butte has the worlds largest strip mine. Like superior there are alot of natureal resource based towns in montana and idaho. most people don't care what your chosen activity is, there is plenty of land for all forms of recreation.

  7. #7
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    Butte has character, for sure. You'll find plenty to compare and contrast with Missoula. When you get to Montana, stop into a bike shop and buy a copy of Montana Singletrack. It'll give you some idea of how the riding varies from area to area.

    FWIW, the Berkeley Pit is certainly a big hole in the ground, but it was never a strip mine, nor does it compare in size to one.

  8. #8
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    Much of our families both come from mining backgrounds. When we travel northern MN to visit my spouses home, we drive past miles and miles of taconite strip mines. Not to mention where we reside today mined copper from 1800 to around 1965 (mostly underground, not open pits) Western Montana is still in the running for our western ride location this summer. Central OR is also in the running. Thanks for the info and the book suggestion.
    Arly a tandem Nerd, Who rides them, loves them, so we sell them. superiortandems.com

  9. #9
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    Butte or Plains, MT

    Our search for a town to ride at this summer has been narrowed down to Butte or Plains. This is associated with the spouses work availability. Plains sure is a small town and I can't find any trail reviews near it. Heck they don't even seem to have a bike shop. If anyone can comment on either towns please do. Butte is in the lead as of today. Do they have any brew pubs there?? thanks!
    Arly a tandem Nerd, Who rides them, loves them, so we sell them. superiortandems.com

  10. #10
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    as per Butte...there is a brew pup in town called the Quarry Brewery. As someone referenced earlier, people do like to get their drink on. Summer festivals include Evel Knievel Days, 4th of July, the Folk Music Festival, and of course the Butte 100!

    In terms of eats and culture, Butte is certainly not as 'cosmopolitan' as Missoula with fewer places to eat, etc.

    Butte does have a very rich mining history which really has shaped the character and characters of the town. It is infamous for the Berkeley Pit & Our Lady among other things. Cost of living is reasonable...job opportunities are not abundant, but the riding is!

    feel free to PM me if you have specific questions (current Butte resident).
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  11. #11
    rth009
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    Go for Butte. There is a lot of great riding around there, and it is midway between Helena, Missoula, and Bozeman, all of which have excellent singletrack, once it melts out that is. One thing I like about Butte, is urban mountain biking in Uptown. The streets are so steep and there is a lot of features to play around on. Plus, Butte is rad.

    As for Plains, there is no bike shop, or anything else, in Plains. Beautiful country, but they dont ride bikes there.

  12. #12
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    check out the musuem the historical society has set up in butte. we took a tour thru it and it was very educational and fun.

    also fairmont hot springs is only about 10 miles west of butte and has some good water slides and such. great family spot.

  13. #13
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    There is nothing in Plains but it is scenic. As for Butte it has trails but the weather isn't always great and it is a bit of a rough town. What about Helena? It's not too far from Butte and is much nicer both in weather and in culture.
    Sierra Club Sucks

  14. #14
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    Helena

    Sorry but no jobs are currently being offered in the Helena, there are 2 in Butte. This is why we asked about riding at specific locations listed above. According to the weather sites, its suppose to be 5 degree's cooler in Butte come July. We like cool and so does the trail mutt.


    Quote Originally Posted by Idiot Boy 1
    There is nothing in Plains but it is scenic. As for Butte it has trails but the weather isn't always great and it is a bit of a rough town. What about Helena? It's not too far from Butte and is much nicer both in weather and in culture.
    Last edited by arly; 04-08-2011 at 05:55 PM.
    Arly a tandem Nerd, Who rides them, loves them, so we sell them. superiortandems.com

  15. #15
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    Butte and Helena are the most trail ready towns in Montana. Helena has trails that start right in town. Butte requires a very short drive to trailheads. Not having ridden in Helena, I am biased towards Butte. I like the Butte trails in early and late season. Mid summer both town's trails tend toward the hot side.
    I don't know what trail we're on, but at least it's getting dark

  16. #16
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    Butte gets over 310 days of sunshine a year. I love the trails near here. I prefer to be out and alone, or with my friends and no one else. And if there is someone else, we usually know each other a little bit. Housing is cheaper, becuase of the depressed economy, there is a lot of run down buildings. It can depress some people, I hear.
    But mostly, Butte is the way a lot of really great places were about 20 years ago, before they were exploited. Friendly, and open, old fashioned family town... there is a bar stool for every resident, and a seat on a church pew too.
    there is a lot of fighting. But crime (serious) isn't high.

    Butte is 20 minutes from Pipestone!
    There are some good places to eat, but you learn about them from meeting other people here. Also, there is a drive in movie theater close-by
    We love it here. BUt it isn't for everyone.

    woops
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  17. #17
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    A Butte sumer in the works

    Thanks for all the trail reports for Montana. Dearest has applied for work in Butte and started the licensing process for your state. Please note,, this does not assure we’ll end up there but at this point, it looks likely. For anyone who cares, Sandy is a physical therapist and some years back we needed to live in Oregon so she took up a temp job there for the summer while I attended school in Ashland called UBI. While there we got hooked up with and got to do weekend camp/ride events with the Portland and Eugene clubs and simply had a grand time riding with them. Sandy’s job here has gone to heck, so we thought we might head west and ride new locations like we did in Oregon. If you look at our photos in the MTBR gallery, you’ll see we’ve ridden a few locations but none in Montana. Should we bring our trail tools along??? Thanks!!!
    Last edited by arly; 04-11-2011 at 07:43 AM.
    Arly a tandem Nerd, Who rides them, loves them, so we sell them. superiortandems.com

  18. #18
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    3 Characters from MI,, photos

    Here are a few photos of us. Seems like I've not posted many onto MTBR for the past few years. I've included a snow photo since we like it!!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails western Montana ride locations (towns)-swedetown-trails-sg-g.jpg  

    western Montana ride locations (towns)-xc-porkies-dec-09-arly.sandy.ii-dl-.jpg  

    western Montana ride locations (towns)-stair-way-heaven-ch-trails-dl-.jpg  

    Last edited by arly; 04-11-2011 at 10:54 AM.
    Arly a tandem Nerd, Who rides them, loves them, so we sell them. superiortandems.com

  19. #19
    100% fuzz, 0% melody
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    learning to keep a secret is a very valuable skill.

  20. #20
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    physical therapist info for Butte

    Folks, My spouse is looking for work site info of employers in Butte and like to hear from any physical therapist who might be familiar with the nursing homes there. Please PM me if you can.

    thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by arly
    Thanks for all the trail reports for Montana. Dearest has applied for work in Butte and started the licensing process for your state. Please note,, this does not assure we’ll end up there but at this point, it looks likely. For anyone who cares, Sandy is a physical therapist. Thanks!!!
    Arly a tandem Nerd, Who rides them, loves them, so we sell them. superiortandems.com

  21. #21
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    Ash--
    I am not worried about that, there are some places I will never mention to be sure. But Butte isn't one of them. It welcomes short to long term visitors-- hell yeah! they are good for the economy.
    But the general consensus is that Butte's downsides are subtle, but prevail in the long run. There just isn't enough to keep people here and deal with the issues they end up having.

    Arly-
    Copper Ridge is decent. Big Sky Senior Living is assisted living with a nice gym (I hear) and PT there. Not far from Butte is Anaconda, and that medical community is often worth the drive for many Butte residents. The hospital in Butte (St James) has both PT/OT and Cardiac Rehab centers. This gets used the most by in and outpatients.
    The places with the most need, in my opinion, are Butte Care and Rehab and The Crest. Marquis Vintage Suites (also assisted living)-- I don't know if they offer any PT services. I guess the good news is that a disproportionate amount of Butte's population is age 75+.
    Hope that helps. You can send me a private message if you have any questions.
    Woops
    Don't get even, get odd.

  22. #22
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    got the book, things are moving along

    evasive, we got the book and its quite good.. Thanks for the suggestion. Things are moving forward, ever so slowly and a summer in Butte is looking very likely. We may ask if anyone knows of a furnished house for rent, but its still to early to ask that. Since we got a trail mutt which I'm sure she'll complicate that.

    Thanks to all for the private notes and help!!



    Quote Originally Posted by evasive
    Butte has character, for sure. You'll find plenty to compare and contrast with Missoula. When you get to Montana, stop into a bike shop and buy a copy of Montana Singletrack. It'll give you some idea of how the riding varies from area to area..
    Arly a tandem Nerd, Who rides them, loves them, so we sell them. superiortandems.com

  23. #23
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    Our summer in Butte is finally coming together. Thanks to all for their thoughts. We’re now in need of a modest house to rent in Butte for the summer starting about mid May. The closer it’s to Butte Care Nursing home the better and the more furnished it might be, is also the plus. Furnished keep us from hauling junk with us or renting it for the summer. Please pop us an email us if you have any idea’s.
    Thanks!

    Arly, Sandy and the traveling trail mutt Gromit
    http://trailmuttreports.blogspot.com/
    Arly a tandem Nerd, Who rides them, loves them, so we sell them. superiortandems.com

  24. #24
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    Butte housing, Butte riding

    Hey guys, just got wind of your thread, glad to see that you have picked Butte as your digs for the summer! As per the "modest house to rent in Butte for the summer starting about mid May," I don't know of anything immediately, you might try Silver Bow properties:

    http://www.silverbowpm.com/

    For some (limited) info, the local club is on Facebook under "Highlands Cycling." Please look us up when you get here, we'd be happy to give you the nickel (trail) tour. There are not many mountain tandems in town that I know of, we own one and our neighbors own the other! Will be nice to see another one around..

    Cheers!
    mike

  25. #25
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    the BS story, passing through this summer

    For the past 6 months (really for more than a year) Sandy’s job situation here had been in a perpetual pendulum motion swinging from “OK” to “must leave now”. Twice over the past few weeks she had printed off new resignation papers and went to work planning to pass them out but before she got that done, she’d receive some bit of news that kept her from doing it.. Her job had went to heck over a year ago then the agency’s profits had gone south so a new managing company came in to make working there miserable, so something had to change. At a hospital here, we knew the medial direct who was a cycling buddy, plus dearest knew many of the therapist employed there who were telling the management to take her on but they were dragging there feet. This is why we were looking to head west for the summer at a new ride location. We did this a few years back in southern Oregon and had a great time riding those trials while getting to meet new buddies we had hoped to do that all again. Buttes weather was cool enough for us northerners plus you seemly had some great trails nearby and this had promoted us to check your area out. The Sundance nursing home there had also offered her work. This past week her agency’s CEO announced they were shutting down but the good news is this prompted the hospital to take on more work and of course more therapist. Early this morning Sandy received an email from the hospital’s medical director (not HR) saying they wanted her there ASAP. Does this mark the end of the pendulum motion??? She’ll be negotiating with them today but she had already told them she’d like three weeks off before she starts at the new job. If that happens as we hope, the trail mutt and us will swing past Butte coming from Great Falls, where we have friends. After riding some of your trials, we’ll head down to the Victor, Driggs ID area to ride there and visit friends. Oh and west Yellowstone too. Just wanted you to know how much we appreciated the help on our western ride quest. Anyone up for a ride in about three weeks?!!??
    Arly a tandem Nerd, Who rides them, loves them, so we sell them. superiortandems.com

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